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Phantom of the Opera FAQ

Main »» Basic Questions, Read First

Table of Contents

What are the Forum Rules?

These are the rules for posting on this site's forums, which you agree to when you register a username.

Phantom of the Opera .com Posting Rules

General Policies

By registering and participating in forum discussions you agree to the following code of conduct. If you do not agree with the code of conduct, please cease participating in forum discussions.

This is your community. Most people have a common sense feel for what is and what is not appropriate in these forums. We do, however, need to have a few set policies for everyone to refer to when the need arises.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually explicit material or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. This includes racial or homophobic slurs. Doing any of this may lead to you being temporarily or permanently banned from these forums.

Posts which violate any part of this Code of Conduct may be edited or moved to a special area accessible to moderators and administrators only called "Backstage."

The administrators and moderators of this forum will attempt to remove or edit any material which breaches our rules as quickly as possible where applicable. You acknowledge that all posts made to these forums express the views and opinions of the author and not the administrators, moderators or web-master (except for posts by these people) and they will not be held liable.

If you continue to break this code of conduct your account would be reviewed and you could be banned. It is the sole discretion the administrators, on the advice of the moderators, to ban violating accounts.

The IP addresses of all posts are recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. This is necessary to ensure the protection of all members’ rights.

You agree that the web-master, administrators and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any post, topic or thread at any time following the guidelines outlined below. You agree that the web-master, administrators and moderators of this forum have the right to send a private message with a warning and/or censor any forum user who is in violation of forum policy.

Posting Policies

1. Be respectful of all users at all times. This means please use etiquette and politeness. Treat people with kindness and gentleness. If you do this the rest of the code of conduct won't need more than a cursory mention.

2. Respect the forum moderators. We provide a service in our free time to keep the forums running efficiently. Please respect our decisions. If you have an issue with our moderation, please open a request in the Complaints thread in the Managers Office.

3. Profanity. Remember that the forums are used by people of all age groups and of all tolerance levels regarding profanity usage. Please try to keep your language polite and courteous and limit your usage of profanities. Under no circumstances will we allow any profanity to be directed toward another user. Moderators and/or administrators will edit any posts containing explicit profanity, and then record the edit Backstage. They will also post the unedited content Backstage as a record.

4. Forum Threads and Flaming:

o Flaming: Flames are messages that personally attack, call people names, or otherwise harass another forum member (or any person or group). These will be moved or removed at the moderators' discretion.

o If the thread is flame-bait (appears to be intended to start a flame war or is likely to cause a bitter argument rather than enhance discussion), it will be locked or removed without notice. Individual flame-bait may be deleted or edited at the moderators' discretion. Any users who continue to post in this manner or engage in other questionable practices, like trolling (posting in an attempt anger and upset people) may be subject to more serious sanctions.

o If the thread turns into a flame war, it can be locked or removed without notice. Sometimes a moderator may split the thread or delete certain portions in order to keep the discussion going, but that is not always possible.

5. Spam. To prevent spam, no more than 5 URLS can be posted in any one comment. If a post or thread contains spam (unsolicited advertising) it will be locked and moved to the Perros Graveyard and the poster may be banned. Users are allowed to have links to personal sites in their signatures, in their profile, and may post them in threads if they are relevant (just not often, please) as long as the content of those links does not include abusive, obscene, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated material or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Posts or threads containing advertising about Phantom related items are allowed in the relevant forum, such as the Auction.

6. Adult Content/Violence/Criminal Activity. Messages containing sexually oriented/violent/criminal dialogue, images, content, or links to these things will be deleted. Messages with links to or suggesting criminal activity may also be deleted. This includes the selling of bootlegs. Posting any of these could result in a ban.

7. Thread Drifting/Steering. Please keep discussions on topic. All non-Phantom related discussions belong in the Chorus.

8. Communication. Please strive to communicate with other users as effectively as possible:

o When writing a post, please space paragraphs with a blank line in between them for better readability.

o Please do not write posts in all uppercase letters, as it looks as if you are screaming at the people reading your post.

o Please refrain from using "leet" speak or slang.

o Please do not shorten all your words to acronyms or abbreviations. It is very difficult to read and understand, especially for those members for whom English is their second or even third language.

o Typos and other errors can cause miscommunication between users on the forums, please preview your text before posting.

o Please do not cross post, or post the same thing in multiple locations.

o We are not the spelling and grammar police, but please attempt to keep your postings understandable.

o Posting in ALL CAPS or tOgGlE cAsE is not permitted. Reading posts full of things like plz, u, 4, or hundreds of smilies and exclamation points is also very tiresome. You don't have to sound as if you're writing an essay, but do us all a favour and cut down on the txt msg speak!

9. Chat. If you want real-time chat, please use IRC, or exchange AIM info with people. Although "chat" topics are allowed in The Chorus, that does NOT mean real-time back and forth chat where a thread becomes 3 pages in an hour. We do not have unlimited bandwidth and this is a discussion board, not a chatroom. Please respect that.

10. Images. Please be prudent in your use of images. When posting pictures, please keep your image to less than 100kb. No more than 5 URLS can be posted per comment (images and links). This is to prevent spam. In these cases, if you have multiple pictures to post, it's acceptable to post more than 1 comment in a row.

11. Signatures. Signatures are not a place for inappropriate material such as attacks, slander, or harassment.

12. Multiple accounts: If you are found to be using an alternate account to break the forum rules, such as to troll, flame, spam, or harass, all your accounts may be subject to banning.

13. Search function. The forums have a search function, and you can also browse back through previous topics. Before you start a new thread on a new topic, please make sure that there isn't already a thread where your post would fit. Don't start a new thread because you've just seen the movie - post in the movie review thread. Before asking who the old woman was at the beginning of the film, or questions about the ring, read the FAQ thread. Instead of starting a new thread to ask a basic question about the Leroux novel, post your question in one of the existing threads about the novel. Remember to change your search setting time frame to “from the beginning” when searching, to ensure that you do not miss threads. You can also use the "Is there a Thread About...?" thread.

14. Correct forum. Please make an effort to post in the right forum. If it's not specifically about the Phantom movie, don't post it in Silver Screen - if you want to talk about the actors in general, post in The Dressing Room (checking to see if there's a thread already, first). If you want advice on your love life, post it in The Chorus. If you have any queries as to where to post a specific thread, please post in the “Is there a thread about…..” thread in the Manager’s Office.

15. Subject line. Please make the subject/topic line of any new thread descriptive and informative, so people looking at the title will have some idea what it's about. "Please answer my question!" is an example of a badly chosen title. "Why does the Phantom have a mannequin that looks like Christine?" is an example of a good title.

16. No “me too” posts. No "me too" posts, or posts just to increase your post count. Please think before posting. Do you actually have something to add to the discussion, or are you just saying "me too”.

17. Sexuality. Sexuality is an important aspect of Phantom, and as such may be discussed here. We also do not censor "dirty" words. Since young people's maturity level varies, we do not wish to set a minimum age for the site, but recommend that parents supervise their children here and everywhere else on the Internet.

18. Religion/Politics threads. Conversations about religion and other controversial subjects are allowed but will be carefully monitored to ensure that there is no flaming, general rudeness or bullying.

19. Personal information. No user is allowed to disclose personal information on the site. Personal information is defined to include real name(s), age and home town/place of residence. Moderators will edit out this information from a user’s post.

If you have found a post that you feel is inappropriate or that violates the forum code of conduct, please refer it to the moderating team in the “Problem Threads” thread in the Manager’s Office.

The web-master, administrators and moderators of this forum will preserve forum content when possible. However editing, locking and deleting content may be necessary and if so will be done at the discretion of the web-master, administrators and moderators when the forum code of conduct has been violated.

Moderator Code of Conduct:

1. Dealing with Profanity:
Some profanity/swearing is allowed in the context of general speech. Explicit profanity/swearing is not allowed, and under no circumstances will we allow profanity to be directed toward another person. If you feel a user is out of line please contact the moderators with the details, and they will issue a warning to the user if appropriate.

2. Editing of posts:
Moderators may edit posts to remove personal information, abusive attacks on other members, hate speech, pornography (or links to porn or hate sites), illegal content, and obvious cases of trolling or spam. When a post breaks the forum rules and requires editing, the moderator must copy the un-edited post to Backstage first and send a PM to the user advising them of the edit. Only then should the original post be edited after the original content was preserved as evidence. In the private message the moderator should specify or describe which rule(s) the post did not follow. (When dealing with obvious spam which is entirely unrelated to Phantom, moderators do not need to PM the spammer advising them of the deletion.)

3. Removal of posts/thread:
If a post/thread would require a lot of work to bring it into compliance, or if editing the violations would result in a nearly blank post/thread, the post/thread should be locked and moved to the Perros Graveyard instead.

4. Keeping an open mind:
Sometimes you will be faced with a thread you might not agree with it's imperative you keep an open mind towards all people, and keep a neutral focus when replying. It is our duty to steer the conversations back into a positive nature without engaging in negative behaviour.

5. Moderators' and administrators' behaviour:
Moderating is a duty, not a right. Moderators are chosen by the site administrators. Moderators must agree to treat all members with respect at all times. Moderating and running this site can become difficult at times, and this needs to be remembered; however as a general rule, mods should be courteous and helpful.

It should be noted that, like all things, this code of conduct will continue to change and evolve with constructive feedback from users and from experience. It is our hope that these policies will create open, honest, and civil discussion. As always, we welcome feedback about any concerns that you may have so feel free to post in the “Complaints... I am concerned” thread in the Managers’ Office.

We require that the forum code of conduct be followed at all times.

Compositions fan fic rules

1. Spell check all stories and poems. There is no excuse for not doing this. If you do not have a word processor that has the spell checking feature, use a search engine such as Google.Com to find one.

2. Proofread all entries for grammar and other aspects of writing before submission. Sometimes it is useful to get someone else to do this for you, if possible. Other people can pick up mistakes that you might miss. No one is perfect but it is the duty of the writer to perform to the best of his/her ability.

3. Respect the reviewers. Not all reviews will strictly praise the work. Indeed, constructive criticisms will only help you. If someone rightfully criticizes a portion of the writing, take it as a compliment that the reviewer has opted to spend his/her valuable time to help improve your writing.

4. When making reviews, do not offend the member by telling them how much their story sucks. Be tactful.

5. Use proper textual formatting. For example, do not use ALL CAPS in the story title or posts. Do not use netspeak either.

6. Do not upload chapters, series, or segments of a story as separate entries. Instead, you must ensure that each post/chapter is a minimum of 500 words long and a maximum of 9000 words. DO NOT use different posts for each sentence in order to increase your rank. We will automatically lock threads that breach this rule.

7. Do not start a new thread for new chapters or parts of your story.

8. You must state in the thread title if your story is going to be NC-17.

9. Do not, under any circumstances, plagiarize another’s work unless you have the express written permission to do so. Plagiarism is taking another person’s work and trying to pass it off as your own. Plagiarism is not only illegal, but it is unfair to the original owner of the work, who made all the effort in the first place. If you see what appears to be plagiarism, please let us know so we can take steps to correct it.

Who is Erik?

Erik is the Phantom's name in the original novel. It's not in the ALW stage show (or movie), but as most fans have read the novel we tend to refer to him as Erik.

Did the Phantom exist?

Whether Phantom is a true story or not is a much-debated topic amongst fans.

Gaston Leroux was an investigative journalist, and the novel is written in the style of a true narrative - Leroux wrote an article some 15 years after the novel's publication in which he again insisted that the story was true, but as this coincided with the release of the Lon Chaney film one has to regard it as a publicity ploy as much as anything else.

Leroux's diaries, in which he detailed some of his thought processes in creating the characters, apparently exist but have not been published. It is not thought that he claims the story is real in any way in his journals.

Certain events and characters were based on, or inspired by, real occurences - the counterweight of the chandelier once fell, Carlotta was based on a person named Mlle. Carvalho, and Christine's story and childhood are clearly based on the singer Christine Nilsson.

Other research has found a real de Chagny family whose names make it clear that Leroux was referencing them with his characters (such as Mme de La Martinière, Raoul's mother).

Although staff at the Paris Opera House usually prefer not to talk about the Phantom, at least one former staff member has talked about the Phantom legend, and claimed that a skeleton with a ring (as described by Leroux) was found early in the 20th century, along with a house built into the cellars of the opera. I am not aware of any external verification for these claims.

For discussion on this topic, see Erik: Fact or Fiction

"Hand at the level of your eyes" - huh?

Madame Giry advises people to keep their hand at the level of their eyes because the Phantom uses the punjab lasso as a weapon, with which he is lethal. (This makes a little more sense in the stage show, where he has travelled widely, than in the ALW movie, where he has grown up under the opera house.)

If you keep your hand up by your eyes, a lasso will probably go around your hand and arm as well as your head, enabling you to prevent yourself from being strangled. Of course Raoul forgets this, and ends up lassoed.

What are the ranks? How do I change my rank?

Ranks are received automatically based on the number of posts that you make.

Normal ranks

ballet rat - every new user receives it;
protege - a minimum of 21 posts is needed to achieve this rank;
no rank or a blank rank - after reaching 51 posts every user has their rank automatically turned off. In the past a lot of people have abused and spammed our forums in order to get a higher rank. We have left the ballet rat and the protege ranks in order newbies to be recognized easily and be assisted if any help needed.

Special/reserved ranks

lowly babblet rat - special rank for those who abused our rules;
Angel - reserved only for moderators;
O.G. - reserved only for site admins.

How do I post an image?

First the image has to be uploaded on a web server. There are quite a lot of servers that provide this service for free. One of the more popular lately is

After you have uploaded on a web server the picture you should copy its address and put it between [img] and [/img] tags e.g. [img][/img] The [img] tag must be lowercase, not caps.

You can also try the visual tutorial on how to post an image donated by La_Fee_Verte. Read it here: Tutorial on how to post an image.

How do I put a picture in my signature?

You can't. Currently signatures are text only.

How do I check a picture's dimensions?

Open the picture in your browser.
For Internet Explorer users: Right click on the picture, choose Properties and look for the Dimensions field.
For Mozilla/Firefox users: Right click on the picture, choose Properties and look for the width and height under the Image properties section.

Where can I get an Avatar?

Go to View account >> Avatar. You can view the list of available avatars by clicking on the 'List' link under the 'Choose avatar from the available list' field. The list loads in a new window. To choose an avatar click on 'Select' and then on 'Submit'.
Alternitavely, you can upload and use an avatar from your computer. Under 'Upload Avatar' click on the 'Browse' button to select the desired pic from your PC and then click on 'Submit'. The avatar should be gif or jpeg, 100 x 100 px or smaller, 14 Kbytes or smaller. The extension of the file you are going to upload has to be in lowercase and not in UPPERCASE.

How do you create a poll?

Polls can be created only in the 'Maze of Mirrors' forum. Don't forget that this forum is only for 'Phantom humour, fun, and fluff. Jokes, lists, "what flavour is Erik?", etc.'

When you enter Maze of Mirrors look for this button at the top right of the forum and click on it. You will be presented with the form for starting a new topic. You should post content there relative to what's being polled. Polls that have posts with absolutely nothing to do with the poll itself will be locked/deleted.

Click on the 'Submit' button below the form. The page will be reloaded and you will be presented with the Poll form. Enter the poll question, poll description (keep in mind this one is seen only by site admins), expiration date, etc.

If you want to allow more than one answer to be chosen set 'Allow multiple selections?' to 'Yes'.

Enter the answers to the poll questions in the 'Options' fields. Only one answer per line. A poll can have no more than 10 answers.

When you have finished, click on 'Submit' and your poll is created.

Banning without a notice!

We ban without a notice when either:

1. You abused the rules so severely or behaved so recklessly that we decided you don't deserve another chance or notice why or what happened.

2. You received an automatic ban by the system because you tried to reload one and the same page too many times in a minute. This is a setting against DoS attacks. To quote Wikipedia:
A denial-of-service attack (also, DoS attack) is an attack on a computer system or network that causes a loss of service to users, typically the loss of network connectivity and services by consuming the bandwidth of the victim network or overloading the computational resources of the victim system.

What is 'netiquette'?

Have you wondered how to behave in forums? Check the thread at 'The Managers' Office': Netiquette is fun! Check it Out!.

Feel free to ask questions about netiquette there.

In which forum should I start my thread?

All of our forums are Phantom oriented except for 'The Chorus' which is for non phantom general chat; the 'Center Stage' which is for theatre in general; and 'The Managers' Office' which is for questions and comments about this site. 'The Dressing Room' which is both for acting and actors in general and phantom actors in particular.

The Managers' Office
Questions, comments or complaints about the site and forums. If you have technical problems with the forums try asking for help here. Check this forum regularly for site related announcements. Report threads that are offending the rules here.

The Opera House
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera on stage. Movie discussion does not belong in this forum.

Silver Screen
The 2004 movie of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, its cast, pro and con.

The Lair
Every other version of Phantom - the books, movies, other stage shows, other phantom related music, anything Phantom but not Lloyd Webber.

Angel of Music
Post and discuss poetry, art and other phantom related creative work. Requests for phantom banners, wallpapers and avatars belong here. Phan fics do not belong here!

This is a subforum of Angel of Music. Post and discuss phan fiction. Before posting your phan fic read our requirements for all fics in this forum.

Center Stage
A place for all non-Phantom theatre chat. Discuss theatre, musicals, plays that are not phantom related.

The Chorus
Anything not related to theatre or Phantom. Discuss Life, the Universe and Everything Else. Newbies please introduce in the 'New here?' thread.

The Auction
A place to talk about, buy, and sell Phantom collectibles, merchandise and programs.

Maze of Mirrors
Phantom humour, fun, and fluff. Jokes, lists, 'what flavour is Erik?', and other phantom related humour. Do not post 'X vs. Y' threads as those would be locked and deleted on sight. Try being original and do not post a little modified lists/fun/fluff stuff that has already been done here.

The Dressing Room
Discuss both pahntom and non-phantom actors and actresses; pursuing a career in the theatre; the business of art. If you are interested in singing try looking for answers to your questions here.

Hey! I've got a question you don't list!

This FAQ is brand new and being added to every day.

Don't forget to check out the other sections of the FAQ especially How to use this Site for all your technical questions.

Many questions are already answered in the discussion forums, so take a look there too.

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